Recently a new client contacted us and said, “When I go on Google and enter certain search terms, our competitor’s website shows up on page 1 but we don’t. How come?”
The best way to attempt to answer this question is to first conduct a keyword audit.
Step 1: What are the Target Keywords?
The first step of a keyword audit is to ask the people responsible for the website to make a list of the keywords that they think the website should be ranking well for. Next, read through each page of the website and make a list of any additional keywords found within the content that could also be viewed as relevant, target keywords. Combine the two lists into one.
Step 2: See Where Your Website Ranks for Each Keyword
For this next step you need to employ a keyword research tool such as kwfinder.com. One at a time, enter each keyword from your combined list into the tool’s dashboard. Doing this will allow you to see where your website and your competitors’ websites rank in the Google search results for each keyword. Save this data to a spreadsheet.
Step 3: Review On-page SEO
Google only knows if your website’s pages are targeting specific keywords if you tell it so. So, how do you communicate this to Google? By employing on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is the implementation of the target keywords into your page. Google recommends that you do this by incorporating the target keywords into the page’s meta page title, meta page description, headline, some subheads, body text, image captions and alternate image tags. This is where a lot of websites fall down.
Many times the biggest reason why a competitor’s website is ranking higher than your website is because they’ve done a better job of following the Google-recommended best practices for on-page SEO. In other words, they have thoroughly implemented the target keywords as described above.
See for yourself. Analyze how well your website’s on-page SEO efforts stack up vs. your competitors’ websites. Record everything into a spreadsheet so you can quickly and easily see the big picture when you’re done.
Step 4: Tighten Up Your On-page SEO
Once you know where your website pages are deficient, log into your website’s dashboard and revise and update each page’s on-page SEO efforts i.e. ensure the target keywords are properly implemented. When you have completed this, re-submit your updated pages to Google and Bing so your revised website pages can get re-indexed as soon as possible.
Step 5: Again, See Where Your Website Ranks for Each Keyword
After a few weeks Google should have re-indexed your revised pages. Now log back into your keyword research tool and compare, once more, where your website ranks for the target keywords vs. where your competitors’ websites rank. You should see an improvement.
What If You Don’t See an Improvement?
On-page SEO is just one of over 200 factors that Google considers when it decides how high to rank websites in its search results.
If after fine-tuning your on-page SEO you are still disappointed with where your website is ranking, you should investigate other website ranking factors which independent research has indicated Google considers very important. These factors include: site architecture, domain security (i.e. is your website https), number of websites backlinking to your website, content quality and structure, and page loading speed.
Need assistance with your keyword audit? Tap-In Marketing can help.
Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk